LA ILLAHA ILL ALLAH – there is no God but God. There is no goal but the goal. And the goal is not separate from the source; the source and the goal are the same phenomenon. This is one of the most fundamental things to be understood: to reach the goal one has to reach the source. The alpha is the omega.
If you go on trying to reach the goal you will remain in an eternal wandering and you will never come home. If you start searching for the source you will not only find the source, but you will have also found the goal. When the source is found the circle is complete.
God is not where we are going; God is from where we are coming. And our eyes are fixed on distant stars. We go on looking ahead. We are oriented towards the distant and faraway, and all those goals that we create are our own mind projections. The real goal is from where we are coming. It is in our very nature, it is in our very being, it is the very ground of our existence. Hui Hai once went to visit the great Master Ma Tzu. The Master asked him, “Why do you come here?” Hui Hai replied, “I come seeking enlightenment.”
The Master said, “Why should you leave your home to wander about and neglect your own precious treasure? There is nothing I can give you. Why do you seek enlightenment from me?
The visitor pressed him for the truth, “But what is my treasure?”
The Master answered, “It is he who has just asked the question. It contains everything and lacks nothing. There is no need to seek it outside yourself.”
Seeking presupposes that it is far away. Seeking has taken it for granted that it is not now-here, that it is not in you, that it is not you. Seeking has already supposed that it is different, separate from you and somewhere else, and it has to be sought to be found.
This presupposition creates the misery for the seeker. The seeker lives in misery and frustration because the seeker has started on a wrong journey. The seeker is never going to find God, because God is not the sought but the seeker himself.
The only religious question worth asking is “Who am I?” That means diving deep within your own consciousness, coming closer and closer to your center. And when you have reached, penetrated the center like an arrow, one is surprised that nothing was ever lacking, nothing was ever missed, that you had not left your home, that you were already there, but your eyes were wandering far away. Only your eyes were wandering far away; you were rooted in your home. But your mind, your dreams, your eyes, your ideas, they had left you, and they were roaming all over the world.
Ma Tzu is right. He says, “Why do you come here? What is the point of coming here? Why did you leave your home?”
These statements are not ordinary statements; they are very symbolic. The home does not mean just the ordinary home. He means God. Ma Tzu is saying, “Why have you left your source? Why this unnecessary wandering? All that you need is already provided for. You have the treasure within you. Why do you come here?”
Hui Hai replied, “I come seeking enlightenment.”
Now, that is the fundamental error of all seekers. Enlightenment cannot be sought, and if you seek it you will never find it. Enlightenment is when there is no seeking. Enlightenment is when there is no desiring, not even the desire for enlightenment. Enlightenment is when you are still, calm, quiet, and there is no mind, no desire, nowhere to go, when you are suddenly here and now. That very moment is enlightenment: light explodes in you – you become light.
Hui Hai said, “I come seeking enlightenment.” And everybody is seeking, in different names. You may call it bliss, you may call it God, you may call it enlightenment, you may call it truth, love, beauty; it doesn’t matter what you call it. But everybody is seeking something. All are seekers in the world; the world is full of seekers.
And remember, the man who is seeking money and power is not different from the seeker who is running after God. It is the same seeking. The object of the seeking makes no difference in the nature of seeking; the quality of the seeking is the same.
What is that quality? It is tension between that which you are and that which you would like to be. A wants to be B – this is seeking. The poor want to be rich; the unenlightened want to be enlightened; the ugly person wants to become beautiful; the unknown person wants to become famous. It is the same seeking. Seeking means discontentment with that which you are.
Then what is non-seeking? Non-seeking is: A is perfectly happy in being A and has no desire to be B.
Contentment is the beginning of enlightenment. Contentment is the seed which becomes enlightenment. The seeker is discontented, tense, worried. Continuously he is going to face frustration because whatsoever he is going to do is doomed to fail.
Remember it, because there are religions, priests, pedagogues who go on teaching people, “Don’t seek worldly things; seek other-worldly things.” They only change the object of seeking. They say, “Don’t seek money, seek meditation.” And it appears on the surface as if they are transforming your being. They are not. They are only giving you a new toy to play with. But the old seeking will continue; you will remain the same old person with the same old rotten mind, with the same old wandering, tensions, frustrations, worries. Nothing is going to change by that. That is not conversion.
Then what is conversion? Conversion is when you understand the nature of seeking, when you see the point that it is seeking that is debarring you from getting, that it is seeking that is the wall, that it is seeking that keeps you separate from the sought, that it is seeking itself that has to be dropped and nothing else. Seeking is worldly; non-seeking is other-worldly. When the seeker becomes a non-seeker he becomes religious.
But how to become a non-seeker? One can become a non-seeker only if this understanding arises: that rather than going for some goal, the first and most necessary thing to know is “Who am I? From where do I come? What is my source?” If the wave looks for its source, it will find the ocean. And if man looks for his source, he will find God.
We are waves in the ocean of God. If a leaf of a tree starts looking for its source it will find the roots of the tree. It will find the earth; it will find its very source. We are leaves of the tree of God, waves of the ocean of God.
But if the leaf starts looking outwards… and there is the beautiful moon hanging so close by, and it looks so enchanting, and the leaf becomes troubled, starts dreaming. And certainly the wave dreams of the moon. When the moon is full, the waves start rising high, higher and higher; a great longing arises to reach the moon.
You will be surprised to know, scientists have found that it is not only the waves that rise when the full moon is in the sky. Even the earth – almost six inches whenever the moon is full – even the earth starts rising six inches. It also tries hard to reach the moon. When the full moon is there, the earth forgets all its solidity, becomes a little liquid, behaves as if it is made of rubber, tries to reach the moon. And man is made eighty percent of water and twenty percent of earth. That’s why the full moon has so much hypnotic power on man – eighty percent ocean in him, twenty percent earth in him, and both start rising towards the moon.
The fact has been known down the ages that the moon drives people crazy. Hence the word “lunatic”; it means struck by the moon. Lunatic comes from the word luna, the moon. The moon is so close by, it attracts.
And there are many “moons” in life – you are surrounded by many attractive goals. There is power, there is money, there is prestige, respectability, fame. And there are a thousand and one things. One is constantly pulled in this direction and that.
Life provides you with many goals, and there is only one goal: that goal is God.
But to call God the goal is very paradoxical because he is also the origin. And only the origin, the source, can be the goal because ultimately, when you have reached back home and the circle of your life is complete and perfect, there is fulfillment.
Ma Tzu is right. He says, “Why should you leave your home to wander about and neglect your own precious treasure? There is nothing I can give you. ”
No Master can give you anything. Truth has never been given. It is not a thing to be given or taken.
And you don’t need it in the first place from anywhere else because you already have it there within you. You are it. The Master only makes you aware that the treasure is within you, the kingdom of God is within you. He provokes you, he shakes you and shocks you, so that you can become aware of who you are. The Master cannot give it to you. It is not a thing in the first place, and in the second place you don’t need it. And the given truth will be borrowed, and the given can be taken away. The truth has to arise in you; only then it cannot be taken away.
Ma Tzu is really a great Master. He says, “There is nothing I can give you. Why do you seek enlightenment from me?” The visitor pressed him for the truth. ”But what is my treasure?”
The Master answered, “It is he who has just asked the question.” Meditate over it. A tremendously significant statement: “It is he who has just asked the question.” It is your consciousness that is your treasure. Diving deep into your consciousness you will touch the source, the rock bottom of your being.
And it is there where God is found, and enlightenment, and freedom, and love, and beauty, and bliss, and all that you have always wanted and was never happening. All suddenly happens simultaneously. The experience of the source is a multidimensional experience. Ma Tzu says, “It contains everything and lacks nothing” – your consciousness – “There is no need to seek it outside yourself.”
Hui Hai later on became a Master in his own right and a great Master too. This was the beginning – this was the seduction from Ma Tzu. Listening to this, when Ma Tzu said, “It is the one who has just asked the question,” a great trembling arose in Hui Hai, a great energy started moving. The frozenness disappeared, he melted. He bowed down to Ma Tzu, and in that very moment he had his first satori.
This is what I am trying to do here – provoking you, seducing you into that which you already are, but you have forgotten about it. I am only reminding you of it.
Sufis say there are two things the whole of religion consists of. One is faqr: nobodiness, nothingness, egolessness, humbleness. In faqr, all those things are implied. The basic point is that you are not separate from existence. To think yourself separate from existence causes the phenomenon of the ego. And the ego gives you the idea that “I am somebody”, and then, “somebody special”. And then you have to prove, then you have to compete, then you have to be ambitious and succeed. Then you have to leave your footprints on the sands of time; you have to leave your name in history. And then all kinds of desires start arising in you.
But the root of all desires is in the acceptance of a false idea that “I am.” When a person drops that idea, he is a fakir, he has attained to faqr. This is the real meaning of fakir. It does not mean just a beggar; it does not mean just poverty. The real poverty consists of egolessness. That’s what Jesus means when he says, “Unless you are poor in spirit you will not attain to my kingdom of God”… poor in spirit.
It is very easy to renounce your wealth and become poor outwardly; it is very easy. But rather than helping you to become inwardly poor it may hinder, because the person who renounces becomes very egoistic. He starts thinking, “Look, I have renounced so much. I am no ordinary mortal. I am a great sage, a saint, a mahatma – I have renounced all. ”
And deep down in him he starts comparing himself with those who have not renounced. He becomes “holier-than-thou”. He starts pretending that he is on a high pedestal, that everybody else is condemned, that everybody else is going to hell except him – because he has renounced the world, the joys of the world, the things of the world. Rather than becoming inwardly poor he has become inwardly very rich. The ego is strengthened. The ego has become stronger; it is more solid than before. It is almost a rock.
That’s why I don’t say to my sannyasins: renounce the world. I say renounce the ego! Let the world be as it is. Who are you to renounce it? In the very idea of renouncing, you accept one thing, that it belongs to you. How can you renounce something which does not belong to you? See the simple point: nothing belongs to you.
You come into this world without a thing and you go from this world without a thing. You come empty-handed and you go empty-handed. Nothing belongs to you, so how can you renounce?
Renunciation is possible only if possession is possible. Possession is just an illusion; you don’t possess anything. How can you possess anything? Death will come and will separate you from all your possessions, and you will not be able to take a single thing with you.
The first illusion is of possession and the second illusion is of renunciation. And both are based in the same ego. First the ego tries to possess as much as it can – the more it possesses, the more it is. Then comes a point when you have possessed so much that it loses all interest, it becomes boring.
That’s why rich people look so bored; you will not find poor people so bored. Rich people are always bored, utterly bored. The richer they get, the more bored they are. From where comes the boredom? Their boredom is coming from their possessions. They have everything that they ever hoped for, dreamed of; now what else is there to do? All their hopes are fulfilled and nothing is fulfilled in their being. A great boredom starts settling. They have enjoyed all that the world can give, and all those joys have proved superficial, momentary. And they have done those things so many times, they have repeated all those things so many times, that now there seems to be nothing new. They are constantly hankering for some new amusement, some new entertainment. They are utterly bored.
The poor person is not so bored. He still has many things to hope for. Tomorrow he is going to have a better house, the day after tomorrow a better car, and so on, so forth. He can hope; his eyes are full of hope. There are surprises still waiting for him in the future. For the rich man there is no future; for the poor man the whole future is there, he is excited.
For the rich man all is past, there is no future. In the future there is only death and nothing else; nothing else is going to happen to him. He has the biggest house, the most beautiful woman or man, all kinds of gadgets that technology can supply. What else is there? The future seems bleak – only death, somen, here, nothing else. In the dark night of the future only death is lurking. The rich man becomes bored – he is bored to death. He’s afraid, he is in a panic. He cannot hope, and to be in a hopeless state is the most miserable state to be in.
Then he starts renouncing. That brings excitement again; the future becomes hopeful again. Now he thinks, “I will renounce all that I have. I will become the humblest person in the world, the most poor. I will become a great sage, and the world will know how much I have renounced – nobody has renounced that much before. I will be the greatest saint in the world.” Again there is hope. The ego has taken another life, another incarnation: now he starts renouncing, he goes on renouncing. Just as there is no end to possessions, there seems to be no end to renunciation. He goes on renouncing – clothes, food, house everything – companionship, friendship, relationship, people. He escapes to the Himalayan cave or goes deep into the forest or escapes into a monastery. He goes on renouncing, but one day again the end comes. He has renounced all and nothing is gained. He is bored again. Go into the monasteries and you will see the same boredom on the monks’ faces as you will see on the rich people’s faces. There is not any difference.
I don’t tell my sannyasins to renounce the world. Through renunciation the ego survives again, and survives in a more subtle way, becomes more poisonous, because now it can pretend to be holy. To be poor in spirit means to see the point that “I am not” – “God is, I am not. The whole is, the part is not. The ocean is, the wave is not.” This is inner poverty; this is faqr. Then you can be in the monastery or in the marketplace, it makes no difference. You know you are not, so whatsoever is-God’s will: if he wants you to be in the monastery you are in the monastery, if he wants you to be in the marketplace you are in the marketplace. ”Thy will be done” – that is FAQR. ”I have no will of my own, your will is all. I have no destination of my own; wherever you are going, I am simply coming with you. I will be your shadow; I will not be a separate entity in my own right.”
And the second thing that Sufis say is a fundamental of religion is zikr, remembrance of God. God has not to be achieved; God has not to be discovered; God has not to be invented either. God has only to be remembered. We have only forgotten him. All that is needed is an awakening. That is called zikr.
From The Secret, Chapter 21
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